Dr Zweli Mkhize and 14th African Renaissance
24 May 2012
Dr Zweli Mkhize, the Premier of the province of KwaZulu-Natal has reminded the people of South Africa and delegates that the first democratic elections in 1994 ushered in hope for a better future, therefore, elected and unelected leaders in the country must work together. Dr Mkhize was speaking at the opening of the 14th African Renaissance Conference currently underway at the Inkosi Albert Luthuli Convention Centre in Durban, KwaZulu-Natal province.
“Apart from giving us a chance to pay tribute to the forebears of our democracy and to salute African leaders who defeated colonialism and apartheid, the African Renaissance Conference should be used as a platform to promote good governance in Africa.”
“The time has long arrived for us as Africans to create a better future for future generations. With good governance, the African continent could become a land of prosperity. What has crippled the continent historically – apart from colonialism – has been the culture of dependence.”
“For too long we as a continent, the cradle of human kind, have been entrapped in a mind-set of dependence allowing others to dictate terms and to shape our destination. The culture of dependence should be replaced by that of independence.”
“We have minerals and natural resources in abundance and what we need is to harness the right kinds of skills to process the resources in a uniquely African way. Experience has shown that the world markets are ready to accept our distinctive artistry. Only when we embrace one another as brothers and sisters, working together - combining our technical skills we will add value to the primary products we produce.”
“The theme of this conference is “Connecting Africa” therefore we must ensure that African countries break down the colonial trade lines and begin to trade with one another and produce up to 70% of goods for consumption in the continent of almost one billion people and thereafter focus on exports.”
"We must ensure rapid development of Information Communication and Technology, rail and road transportation and logistics instead of communication via a European capital of colonial times."
“The formation and the launch of the African Union here in Durban few years ago has created a platform to assist many of the African states to deal collectively with challenges facing the continent. We must stand up and speak and act in a manner that will bring respect to our continent. ”
“Africa must focus on ensuring improvement of services to the people, provision of water, sanitation, roads, electrification, and other infrastructure which will be part of growing the economy to enable the creation of jobs and eradicate poverty. Africa needs to focus on investment in gross fixed formation that creates concrete jobs as opposed to the Bonds and financial market where the wealth leaves the country with the purchaser having never set foot on the soil where the transaction occurs.”
“Revival and strengthening of agriculture must be intensified to ensure that starvation no longer claims so many lives. Provision of education and skills must be accelerated to enable African people to contribute in the building of the economy and live sustainable lives.”
“HIV and AIDS and associated Tuberculosis and malaria are still major killers in Africa and have to be fought vigorously otherwise the gains of freedom and independence are reversed. Victory can only be recorded by strong leadership and collaboration of African states in search of solutions and readiness to learn from each other’s lessons.”
"As we prepare to celebrate Africa Day tomorrow. We must draw strength from African giants such as Kwame Nkrumah of Ghana, Muwalimu Julius Nyerere of Tanzania, Agostino Neto of Angola, Kenneth Kaunda of Zambia, Nelson Mandela, Ahmed Kathrada of South Africa, Ahmed Ben Bella of Algeria, Abdel Nasser of Egypt, Amilcar Cabral of the island of Principe, Guinea-Bissau, and Cabo Verde, Patrice Lumumba of Congo-Kinshasa – today the Democratic Republic of Congo, and other African leaders too many to mention.
"It needs to be remembered that during the difficult times of apartheid, African leaders proclaimed that as long as South Africa was not free - the whole continent was not free. They stood side by side with us, making personal sacrifices in order to free all South Africa irrespective of colour from the jaws of apartheid machinery."
"It is with pride that we host the 14th African Renaissance on the Centenary of the African National Congress. We welcome all leaders and delegates from Africa and the Diaspora."
Spokesperson Dr Zweli Mkhize, Premier of the Province of KwaZulu-Natal
Cell: 082 375 4742
Media Liaison Desk for the Premier
Cell: 079 751 6100
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Cell: 071 875 9610
Issued by: KwaZulu-Natal Office of the Premier
24 May 2012
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